· Etsy is refusing to follow the policies that they implemented for themselves early last year (2011) that would prohibit the sale of “…items that promote, support, or glorify hatred toward or otherwise demean people based upon: race, ethnicity, religion, gender identity, disability, or sexual orientation…” read the rest in the prohibited section here.
· The policy prohibiting these items came into effect on January 2011. Read the announcement here.
· The items most strongly in question are Golliwog Dolls or are Golliwog related. They have been reported numerous times to Etsy’s integrity team, however the over 70 items in question remain on the sites of Etsy’s various merchants, many of whom hand make these Golliwog items to order and are not vintage.
· The Golliwog is characterized by jet black skin, bulging white-rimmed eyes, disproportionately big red lips and a shock of black frizzy hair and is essentially a “minstrel doll”. Writer Enid Blyton adapted the Gollywog to her Noddy books. They were consistently horribly ugly black creatures who were rude and nasty and always villains. More on that here and here.
· In May of 2012 the San Francisco chapter of the NAACP attempted to reach out to Etsy only to receive this response:
“…our members come from all walks of life, and may hold differing opinions of the legitimate collectibility of certain types of historical items.”
· Perhaps one of the most disturbing aspects of this issue is that that one would be hard pressed to find racist items of any other demographic on Etsy, which begs the question, Why is it okay to sell items that dehumanize and denigrate those that fall into the category of ‘black people’; and would there be the same lack of response were these items offensive toward the LGBTQQ community, or Asian community, or any demography that is “more likely” to be shopping or selling on Etsy?
· Etsy receives $0.20 for every item listed on their site by merchants and they collect a 3.5% fee on the sale of every item, racist or not. Since Etsy has failed to address this issue it may be safe to assume that they have no scruples about profiting from the very items they prohibit.
Please help us tell Etsy to follow their own policies and stop profiting off of PROHIBITED ITEMS.